Title: Hearts in Ireland (A World of Love Story)
Author: J.C. Long
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 119 Pages
At a Glance: This is a well written, nicely paced HEA story that I would recommend, and is a great addition to the World of Love universe.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….
Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.
Review: Warning: this book begins with tears. We jump into this story right as Ronan’s mother is dying, so right from the get-go this book grabs your heart strings. What follows is a story about a young man who, after losing his anchor, needs to find his own way in the world, and decide just what kind of man he wants to be.
Do you love Ireland? Thoughts of Ireland, descriptions of Ireland, Irish pubs and hunky Irish ginger MCs? This book is part of the World of Love series from Dreamspinner Press, which encompasses every corner of the globe and in this case…Ireland. Ronan Walker grew up in the United States. His father is American but his mother was Irish, and she instilled in Ronan an appreciation for his heritage there. When she dies, she leaves a grieving husband and son, but Ronan especially takes her parting hard. Thrown into a deep depression, Ronan seeks solace in his mother’s homeland, hoping that it will ease the pain, offer him comfort and help him find a way to let his mother go.
In running to Ireland, his world is turned sideways when he realizes that he was not, in truth, running away from something but toward a part of himself he needed to identify and embrace. And that’s where he finds Fergal.
Fergal Walsh has been working in Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore for years. An Irish literature major in college, there isn’t much he loves more than dusty tomes and his homeland. Books become a binder between these two men, and Ronan starts to fall in love with Ireland and with Fergal.
I do wish that J.C. Long had spent a little more time on the romance between his two MCs. Ronan remains confused and aloof for a good portion of the story, and it precluded me from forming an attachment to him as a character. I almost felt as if there were a glass wall between me and the MCs, which kept me from reaching out and embracing them (mostly Ronan) and their love story. I appreciated and developed an affinity for Fergal, though; he was so open and honest, and he embraced Ronan with an earnestness that was refreshing.
The closing scenes of Ronan at his mother’s grave, and the flight to Ireland, are a perfect bookend to the emotional beginning of this novel, and truly brought the storyline full circle. I enjoyed the secondary characters immensely. Hannah and Aunt Gwen and all the Irish clan were a treat to read about and added a lighter, humorous touch to the journey.
“When you become an adult, especially when you set out to start your own life and family, you leave the old behind. Nothing new can grow in a garden if you never remove the old.”
This is a well written, nicely paced HEA story that I would recommend, and is a great addition to the World of Love universe.
You can buy Hearts in Ireland here: